For the moment, however, the only thing that made me raise even half an eyebrow was the suggestion that the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs are pushing the Americans to bomb Iran. The Israelis have been saying that this is the Saudi position for ages - but, hitherto, I’ve always taken that with a pinch of salt, since it is obviously in Israel’s interests to make that case. So it is a bit surprising to find out that the Saudis really do seem to want a strike on Iran.
In other words, Israel has been telling the truth and the Arabs have been lying. Who would have thunk?! Apparently not even a leftist Jew. Philip Stephens, his fellow FT columnist is just as annoyed. Not only is Netanyahu described as"elegant and charming" but"The persistent lobbying of Washington leaves some Arab attitudes to the Iranian regime looking almost indistinguishable from that of Israel."
FT Mideast editor Roula Khalaf not only bemoans"the depth of Arab obsession with Iran" but"the extent to each dealings are based on lies." How can Iranians be friends with such liars, she asks and goes on to praise Ahmadinejad for covering up his disappointment by blaming the US for the leaks.
"Obsession," meaning an irrational preoccupation, is the leftist term du jour for Arab opposition to a nuclear Iran. In an AFP article entitled, WikiLeaks cables show Saudis obsessed by Iran threat, Paul Hadley notes that the Saudis do not believe the Palestinian Israeli is the root of all Middle Eastern evil:
"Even if the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved, Abdullah said,"Iran's goal is to cause problems.""There is no doubt something unstable about them ... May God prevent us from falling victim to their evil."
Seeking a silver lining, David Sanger of the NYT, writes
If they seemed obsessed with Iran, though, they also seemed deeply conflicted about how to deal with it — with diplomacy, covert action or force.
In other words, Sanger tries to calm Iran appeasers, the Arabs can still be convinced that a nuclear Iran is inevitable and, hence, they better learn to live with it. It may be true that Israel can take care of Iranian nuclear facilities but, Sanger reports triumphantly the benefits would only be short lived:
One of the final cables, on Feb. 12 of this year, recounts a lunch meeting in Paris between Hervé Morin, then the French defense minister, and Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates. Mr. Morin raised the delicate topic of whether Israel could strike Iran without American support.
Mr. Gates responded “that he didn’t know if they would be successful, but that Israel could carry out the operation.”
Then he added a stark assessment: any strike “would only delay Iranian plans by one to three years, while unifying the Iranian people to be forever embittered against the attacker.”
The NYT justifies publishing the cables by asserting that it's analysis would help put them in the right perspective. In other words, the paper will help"explain" the Israel bashing of the Obama/Clinton administration that was based on the lie that Israeli concessions are needed to convince Arabs to go along with anti-Iranian policies.
It is an excuse but they are sure doing their best to put the Obama/Clinton policies in the best light possible. Unfortunately for them, it is rather difficult.